Monday, March 1, 2010

Frank Thiel

Stadt 7/12 (Berlin). 1999. C-Print. h: 112.5 x w: 257.4 in / h: 285.8 x w: 653.8 cm

Stadt 10/06/A (Berlin). 2001. C-Print. framed: 71 x 107-7/8 inches (180.3 x 274 cm)

Stadt 5/20/C (Berlin). 2000. h: 190 x w: 175 cm / h: 74.8 x w: 68.9 in C-Print

Stadt 13/06 (Berlin). 2007. C-Print h: 97.2 x w: 71.6 in / h: 246.9 x w: 181.9 cm

Frank Thiel was born in 1966, around Berlin, in the town of Kleinmachow. He eventually moved to West Berlin in 1985. There he attended a college for training in Photography from 1987-1989. For many years now, Frank Thiel has been photographing and documenting Berlin, and its constant state of changing and flux. There in Berlin, ever since the fall of communism there has been constant reformation of the land and space that the city surrounds. The West's influence is great and development and growth have been key contributors to the success of Berlin after WW2. His work is described as a sort of architecture in transition. The formation of this new architecture allows a new political space to permeate throughout the city's structure. The photographs seem to point towards change, a rebuilding of life, a much more contemporary life. While pretty much all of his photographs are of Berlin, some of his other works are photographs of walls in abandoned industrial complexes. These walls become architectural spaces and seem to transcend photography into a realm of abstract expressionism. (Much like the work I had a year ago).

I chose to use his work for many reasons. I enjoy the presentation of space that he photographs. These spaces are familiar to him because of their proximity to Berlin and his familiarity to them. Though my work is not about familiarity, i feel that If i could keep up with the environments that i photograph, and really get a feel for them and a definite understanding of that space, i think that better photographs would naturally come to me. Although i do believe that upon entering a space for the first time, you may get better results, due to the viewer entering these spaces for the first time have a heightened sense of awareness and are more prone to responding quickly to new environments. When finding out about this artist, initially i was slightly saddened. I had though to myself, "Where was this guy a year ago?" This work would have tremendously helped to look at last year for my abandoned spaces project. Oh Well, C'est la vie.


"the new German capital's astonishing building frenzy in midstep -- fields of rebar awaiting concrete, huge networks of steel pipe, dense webs of scaffolding, and a giant, four-panel picture of Potsdammer Platz under construction, all under a bright gray sky."

"Social Sculpture. Under this title borrowed from Joseph Beuys, we gathered installations, photographic series and videos which critically dealt with themes related to various aspects of the "given" post-Communist realities, be they social economy, religion, race, nationalism, the "nouveuax riches" (new bourgeoisie) and the "nouveaux pauvres" (new poverty), consumerism and the impact of mass media."


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